Tag Archives: Google Drive

If you use Google Slides, you have a Free A.I. Image Generator

If you’ve watched any of our YouTube shows, you may notice that we have slides to guide us through whatever topic we are discussing. I use Google Slides to create these. Often I add an image to the slide. These images come from a variety of places, some are our photos, some are screenshots, but sometimes I have an idea for an image that illustrates a point. I can spend hours looking for an image that illustrates my idea, or now with Artificial Intelligence I can type a description of the image in my head (that’s called a “prompt”) and maybe it will draw something I like in just a few seconds.

Up until now, I’ve needed to go to specialized websites or apps like Dall-e or Stable Diffusion to create the image, then copy it and paste it into my slide. Imagine my delight when, while using Google Slides, I clicked on Insert, Image, and one of my options was “Create image with Duet AI.” When I select that it opens up a right sidebar where I can type the description of the image I want.

For the article about Google deleting accounts, I thought up an image of a woman looking into an empty closet and being worried about losing all her stuff. I wrote a “prompt” for my worried woman and in seconds I had some drawings to choose from. I find that duet is much better at drawing from prompts about fantasy – like an alligator on a surfboard.

In any case, give it a try, you might be pleasantly surprised with your results.

Then there’s the gifs and stickers. No prompt necessary here, you just scroll thru all the possibilities and pick one. There’s a clear winner here!

Embedding Pictures from Google Photos

10/5/17 update: there is a new feature in WordPress that allows you to use your Google Photos. You must jump thru a couple of hoops to make it work. See WordPress and Google Photos

I am creating this post to test the ability of embedding photos that are hosted on Google Photos. You see, back when we had Picasa Web Albums, you could select a photo and then there was an option in the sidebar to “Embed” that photo into another website. As I recall, even back with Picasa Web Albums, I did not use that method. I would use the right-cick / copy image address (or image URL) method that still exists today.  Here is a video on how I used that method to insert photos into Google’s My Maps. 329.Adding Pictures to Custom Maps

Here, in WordPress, I can add a picture from Google Photos by opening the photo with Google Photos, right-click and “Copy Image Address.”  Then in WordPress, click the Add Media button, select Insert from URL, and paste the address. Then I resized it by dragging a corner handle.

Image embedded from Google Photos
Image embedded from Google Photos with .jpg added at end

Unless you’re me, the picture above has disappeared. I still saw it for a while because I am the owner, but apparently after some period of time, the public nature of the embedded code expires and no one else can see it. After more time – overnight – even I can’t see it now.

I am going to try the suggestion posted in this thread by Tenley H. She says to take the code copied above and paste it into a converter at GETeach.com/staticstreet to get a true permalink URL for the photo. Here goes:

Image address from Google Photos, converted by GETeach then used with WordPress Insert from URL
Image address from Google Photos, converted by GETeach then used with WordPress Insert from URL

I notice that, even after conversion, the URL still does not end in .jpg or .png. AND … this is a pain. But, if it works, it’s still better than having to set up another image hosting service.

One more try

Even the picture URL converted by GetEach, expired above and is no longer visible to anyone but me. This try I will do exactly what Tenley specifies – that is to open the picture from Google Drive (not photos) and copy the shareable link. Use Geteach to convert that link to a useable URL, and then embed that here.

Google Drive link converted by geteach.com
Google Drive link converted by geteach.com

Using Microsoft OneDrive Embed code

While I’m at it, I’m going to use a photo uploaded to Microsoft’s Onedrive. Onedrive offers a specific Embed option for photo stored there. View the photo, click the 3-dot menu and choose Embed. Now you select a size (I chose small) and copy the URL code. Then I used the same Insert photo from URL option here in WordPress.

Inserted from OneDrive photos embed code
Inserted from OneDrive photos embed code

Using Google Drive, and Editing the URL

Today I ran across this set of instructions for embedding a Google Photo – via Google Drive. The key seems to be changing public in the url to uc ..?? Makes no sense to me, but here we go:


Using Google Drive Embed code!

Found it! This looks to me like an officially condoned way of embedding a Google Photo into a web page. First make sure your Google Photos are shown in Google Drive – its a setting in Drive – then

  • open the photo and click the 3-dot menu and Sharing – set to Public.
  • 3-dot menu, open photo in new tab
  • 3-dot menu EMBED THIS!
  • This gives you iframe code, just like OneDrive.  YAY!!!

Getting Link from Google Photos

Now I’m going to try the technique outlined in this forum post.



From album that has been shared with Get Link. View single photo. Right-Click copy image address. Edit code at end to specify width and delete remaining.

Getting Photo address from Blogger

I use Blogger for my personal blog (geeksontour.blogspot.com) Since it is a Google Product I can directly get photos from Google Photos. (insert image, from Google Album Archive or from Phone) When it is published, you can then right click on the photo and copy image address, then use that address here. It works. The photo below is taken from this Blogger post. If you wanted to use this method, you would need to make a Blogger blog just to be your host for photos, I think you’d need to make it public too.

Or … I received an email from Scott who adds a little twist to this:

The key is using a Blogger blog to write the post. You see, when you insert photos from Google Photos into Blogger, the photo is given an actual URL that ends in .jpg.

So, you start a new post in Blogger, then when you are finished with it, go to the HTML view and copy everything. You can then discard the Blogger post. Then go to the WordPress blog, start a new post, click on the text view and paste it in.

You now have your images from Google Photos linked to your blog without copying them to your media files. If you change an image, it will show up as changed in your blog.

Thanks Scott!

What is Cloud Computing?

iStock_000019342228XSmallThe ‘Cloud’ is simply The Internet – but it is taking on special meaning as Apple, Google, Microsoft, and others are offering accounts where you can have your own slice of the sky.  They also offer device independence.  If you can start a document with your computer, finish it on your tablet, and view it on your smartphone, you’re using Cloud Computing.  With names like DropBox, Google Drive, iCloud, or SkyDrive, it no longer matters what device you have in your hand because the application, and the content is in the Cloud.

The Cloud is the Internet

So, where is this cloud?  And who owns it?  Remember … the ‘Cloud’ is simply a synonym for the Internet.  The Internet is made up of thousands, maybe millions of Server computers, connected by millions of miles of cables, and thousands of routers.  It’s all linked together with an agreed upon system, an Internet Protocol.  Nobody owns the whole thing, although Google, Microsoft, and Apple do own some pretty large chunks.  It is the mother network of networks, it is vast and it is complex, so we need a simple analogy to describe it.  Pretend that the Internet is in the sky rather than in computers here on earth, and the term ‘Cloud’ fits nicely.  It also helps with terms like UPload and DOWNload.  UPload means taking something on your computer and sending it UP to the Internet … to the Cloud.  DOWNload means taking something that is on the Internet (in the Cloud) and bringing it DOWN to your computer.

Cloud Computing is using Computer Services from the Cloud Instead of your Computer

‘Cloud Computing’ means using Cloud-based services to store your stuff, rather than your own computer or hard drives.  For example, you can store all your spreadsheets in the Cloud and access them from wherever you are.  Cloud Computing also means using Cloud-based services for your software instead of buying boxed software.  For example, you can use Word, Excel, and Powerpoint on Microsoft SkyDrive rather than buying Microsoft Office for your computer.  Most travelers we know don’t have a whole lot of need for Excel anymore, but occasionally, you need to make a spreadsheet, or read one that someone else sends you.  Using SkyDrive, you can do that without paying for any software.

I could argue that I’ve been using Cloud Computing since the early 90s when I used CompuServe for communicating with friends on the Internet, or definitely since 2003 when I started using Blogger.com to post to my website – my blog.  But we didn’t call it Cloud Computing then, we called it Web-Based software.  The term Cloud Computing is taking hold because of services like Microsoft’s SkyDrive.  Using SkyDrive, you can create and store Word documents or Excel spreadsheets.  All you need is some device (computer, tablet, or smartphone) to access your SkyDrive account.  It’s like having a virtual computer in the sky with your name on it.  Some people think that the Cloud has something to do with Apple because they call their service iCloud, but no, Cloud Computing is a generic term.

What if you Don’t Have an Internet Connection? Synchronize!

imagesHaving a good, high-speed Internet connection is taken for granted in modern American households, but for those of us who live in an RV – we don’t take anything for granted!  That’s why we love the synchronizing (sync) feature.  Using Dropbox as an example, it not only stores your stuff in the cloud, but it synchronizes with a folder on your computer whenever your computer is connected to the Internet.

For example, we plan our travels using Microsoft Streets and Trips, we create a file called geektravels.est.  Let’s say that I created the travel plan and Jim says he wants to make some changes.  Before Dropbox, we had 2 choices:

  1. Jim could use my computer to make his changes, or,
  2. I would copy the geektravels.est file to a USB drive and give to him for his computer.  Now we have two files, one with my version of our travels and one with his – what a mess.

Now, we each have a Travels folder that has been set up with Dropbox and shared.  Whenever I make a change to our travel plans, I save it to my local copy.  Dropbox automatically notices the change and synchronizes it with the Cloud copy, AND, it also synchronizes the Cloud copy with the copy on Jim’s computer.  The next time either of us looks at the geektravels.est files, we will be looking at the current version even without a current Internet connection.  We are working with a local file, Dropbox takes care of making sure that both my local file and Jim’s local file are the same.  This has made our lives so much easier.

Comparison of Major Cloud-Computing Services





Free Space

7 GB

5 GB

2 GB

5 GB

$ for more $10/yr for 20 GB 2.49/mo for 25 GB 9.99/mo for 100 GB, but you can earn more free space $20/yr for 10 GB
Sync Method Download SkyDrive desktop app for Windows or Mac Download Google Drive for your PC or Mac Download Dropbox for Windows, Mac, or Linux Download iCloud for Macintosh, Windows, or AppleTV
Web Apps Included Word, Excel, Powerpoint, One Note, Excel Survey Google Docs: Docs,  Sheets, Slides, Form, Drawing None (3d Party apps available) iOffice: Pages, Numbers, Keynote
Mobile platforms Windows Phone, iPhone, iPad, Android Android, iPhone, iPad, Android, iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Kindle Fire iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch,
Sharing with others Easy, including sharing with groups Easy Easy, you can even just right click a file and share via a URL Not so easy, iCloud is designed to synchronize all of your Apple devices
More Info SkyDrive Support Overview of Google Drive Dropbox Help iCloud Features

This article is meant to introduce you to the concept of Cloud Computing, any specifics about how these programs work is likely to change on a daily basis!  Jim and I, at Geeks on Tour, use Dropbox constantly to keep all our shared files synchronized.  We would be lost without it now.  We’ve also used Google Docs (which is now Google Drive) for a few years as a way to create and share online documents and spreadsheets.

If we were to start today and pick just one service, it would likely be SkyDrive … it has the most complete set of capabilities, the most free storage space, and it’s integrated with Windows 8.  We also like the Group sharing feature.  If you use any of these Cloud Computing services, we welcome your comments below.